While I have always acknowledged the importance of biomedicine, the health humanities at UNC have taught me that there is more to determining whether someone is healthy. In recent years, I’ve become interested in the practice of alternative medicine, especially those in other cultures. In America, it is easy to think that a prescription drug is the only thing that can treat disease, when in reality total healing comes from addressing the physical, emotional, and mental health of the body. I think that teaching the health humanities to aspiring physicians during undergrad and medical school will produce better doctors. The health humanities is the key to providing patients with the best care and treatment.
My interest in medicine and medical humanities arose from witnessing a diverse spectrum of healthcare across nations. During my own journey as a patient, I travelled in hopes of finding better medical care— an experience which opened my eyes to various approaches to patient care as well as the various exchanges that take place in spaces of healing. Through observing and experiencing the exhilarating impacts of healing, I developed a deep appreciation for medicine; however, I realized that healing was centered around numerical charts and vitals, with less regard to the individuality of patients themselves. This realization has led to my interest in medical humanities as I am fascinated by the dynamics of physician-patient interactions and ways such interactions can be further strengthened for better care.
As a pre-med student who has little interest in hard science, I struggled for a while to find a way to connect my passion for medical care and my interest in social science. Health humanities provides a way to study people and populations that allows me to promote health and happiness without forgetting the actual personhood of the people I’m studying. By combining work with HHIVE and my major in the school of public health, I feel that I will have a well rounded view of medicine and culture that will make my practice as a medical provider more holistic and personal. I am particularly interested in women’s health and hope to advocate for reproductive rights in my writing.
As a student with an interdisciplinary love for the hard sciences and humanities, I strove at the beginning of undergrad to find an outlet merging my academic interests together. Studying the health humanities is the perfect blend of these passions, enabling me to examine patient care through humanistic lenses of emotion and interaction. I ultimately hope to translate the valuable insights into healthcare I gain through my writing at HHIVE in my practice as a future physician. I am particularly interested in pursuing trauma and critical care, and want to deepen my understanding of individual patient experiences in the field of medicine.
I am a lifelong lover of stories and a newfound lover of learning about health, healthcare, and medicine. HHIVE allows me to join my two passions and focus on reading and sharing stories of illness. My goal as a HHIVE volunteer is to learn more about the field of medicine, to view that knowledge through the lens of literature and storytelling, and share it with my peers. Language and storytelling are two of our superpowers as humans, and I want to use that superpower to help current and future physicians give their patients the best care possible.
As a black student growing up in rural North Carolina, learning in an educational curriculum that was primarily centered around white voices and white stories made it difficult for me to find my place as a writer and storyteller. In recent years, through seeking mentors, role models, and diversified courses I have been able to gain exposure to historically unheard narratives. The experiences and perspectives that I gained from hearing these narratives have encouraged me to find my own voice through writing/storytelling while also revealing that I, too, can have an impact on students like myself. Listening and advocating for marginalized communities is a practice that I strive to further develop every day. Currently, I work as a NA I at UNC Hospitals and I view the time I spend with my patients as a learning experience on how I can further understand the life stories of others. With one of my goals being to become a physician, it is my goal to listen, understand, and validate the stories, perspectives, and experiences of my patients. I hope to eventually do work in preventive medicine in rural communities to aid in eliminating healthcare disparities such as access to healthcare.